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PUBLIC OPINION > Welfare Recipients Should Take Drug Tests

News 2012/04/23 23:00:00
Georgia recently became the third state to require drug testing for welfare recipients. Michigan passed a similar law, but it was ruled unconstitutional in 2003. Florida also passed a law, but federal lawsuits are holding it up in court. Opponent organizations like the ACLU are already threatening to take action against Georgia's law, set to go into effect on July 1, but we wanted to know how the public feels about it.



Despite legal complications in the past, the vast majority of voters are fine with the drug tests. In fact, they think it's a good idea. It's easy to read the law as an attack on benefits in general, but most people agree it's a fair measure that private employers use all the time. The Top Opinion wrote, "I have to take random tests to receive my paycheck. Why can't welfare recipients do the same to get their paycheck?"

Leniency From the Left

Progressives and liberals were two of the only demographics to side against the measure. It might seem odd that government intervention would be embraced by the right and rejected by the left, but welfare is already a relatively liberal concept, and some see the test as a way of scaling back government aid. Plus, liberal note that welfare can be issued in the form of food stamps. However, moderates mostly sided with conservatives on this one.

No Complaints From the Unemployed

Surprisingly enough, unemployed voters agreed with the majority -- 77% of them think welfare applicants should be tested for drug use. Granted, it would only affect unemployed people who also do drugs, but it was an interesting statistic nonetheless. Part-time workers seemed a lot more concerned about it. Maybe because they aren't job hunting...

Smokers Sign Off

Obviously, we can't ask users if they do drugs. The closest thing we can come to is inquiring about legal substance use -- smokers and drinkers, in particular. Maybe they're a little more likely to empathize with addiction. But here, too, the vote was overwhelmingly in favor of Georgia's laws. It's not looking good for drug addicts on welfare.

If you'd like to vote on this question, dig deeper into the demographics, or engage in existing discussion about the topic, visit our poll about drug testing and welfare. We'd love to hear from you!
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Top Opinion

  • lonewolf 2012/04/23 23:48:27
    lonewolf
    +14
    yes they should. people have to be drug tested to get a job and some have random drug test to keep a job. i know some people need welfare and i have no problem with that. but you have those that are just to damn lazy to work and that's the problem.

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  • Concern... Met 2012/04/24 12:00:37
    Concerned Citizen
    +1
    Because the only people bitching are the ones who don't want their precious civil liberties questioned or in their own eyes violated,.....law abiding citizens who are employed by the gov. can be subjected to drug testing at any time,......so should any of those who don't work,...but depend of the gov. as their only source of income and support.

    If that is your rationale,....perhaps you should just leave.
  • Met Concern... 2012/04/24 15:09:31
    Met
    +1
    Actually the majority of welfare recipients have at least 1 full time job.

    2ndly, how does thinking one's civil liberties are precious make one anti-american? It's sorta what the country was founded on, back when pot was legal, and many of the founding fathers grew it in their fields.

    3rd, how does overcrowding our prisons, and putting otherwise law abiding citizens in prison justifiable over the possession of something scientifically proven to be less dangerous than alcohol?

    4th, why don't conservatives move to a country that is an actual theocracy where the people don't mind being unjustly punished for not creating victims?

    5th, when are conservatives going to stop bitching about the war on drugs, the Mexican cartels inner city gangs, terrorist organizations, and the dead bodies in the streets; and do something about it, like take away one of their biggest revenue streams and putting it in our own public coffers?

    It's as dumb as the European Union's ban on snus, despite 30% of the continent smoking like chimneys. (snus being less dangerous by default, as it doesn't affect your respiratory system)

    Oh yeah, that's right.
    racist marijuana propaganda

    Or as Richard Nixon put it "you can't make it illegal in this country to be young, poor, or black, but you can outlaw their vices".
  • Concern... Met 2012/04/24 15:58:09
    Concerned Citizen
    +1
    "The majority of welfare recipients have at least one full time job",....what a joke! Spread your hateful progressive propaganda elsewhere!

    You don't like conservative views,.... I sure as heck don't care for yours!
  • Met Concern... 2012/04/24 16:12:59
    Met
    +1
    That "hateful progressive propaganda" happens to be established fact.

    In fact, you're the only person i've ever seen even try to dispute it.

    Most places cut you off after a certain amount of time of not having a job, or at least trying to get one, and you still get food stamps even after you get a minimum wage job.

    Depending on how many kids you have, or where you live, it's not all that uncommon for people making 20-30k a year to receive some sort of state or federal sanctioned benefit, aka welfare.

    If you ever decide to sue your school system for denying you an adequate education, i'll happily represent you.

    I feel we could make a compelling case just with this thread. I mean honestly, you have the entire internet at your disposal to better yourself and learn something, and instead you use it exclusively to show complete strangers how ignorant you are.
  • Concern... Met 2012/04/24 18:24:28 (edited)
    Concerned Citizen
    +1
    I was asked to comment on the above topic: 'Welfare recipients should take drug tests',...have and stand by what I have said,..and don't have the time to roll in the mud attempting to respond to the condescending arrogance and insulting remarks that you seem so good at dishing out.

    The established facts that you boast of are nothing more than your own interpretations and spins of what you want others to believe in,....anyone with any kind of common sense knows that the gov. can't afford to be supplementing the drug habits of the millions of individuals on welfare,...and then to couple things with some moronic fear of over populating our prisons with hardened criminals,.....but instead have them walking freely on the streets.

    Please do feel free to roam through this post attempting to scold others with your own ignorance regarding the world that surrounds you,....but don't waste any more of your time on folks like me.
  • **Bessie** Concern... 2012/04/26 17:39:06
    **Bessie**
    +1
    I thought that was an "interesting" too. ???
  • Fef 2012/04/23 23:54:02
    Fef
    +7
    Liberals... once again differing from the rest of the population because Liberals abandon common sense in the name of radical politics
  • Met Fef 2012/04/24 00:53:30
    Met
    +2
    http://www.outsidethebeltway....

    Conservatives... Once again differing from reality.
  • ««Ginge... Fef 2012/04/24 21:07:32
    ««Gingey, the Master Debater of Þ|-|Дэ†»»
    +1
    Wow Fef, that's freaking rude and judgemental. How about Liberals may just think that if people must get drug tested for welfare, politicians also must be drug tested?
  • intoler... ««Ginge... 2012/04/27 13:25:44
    intolerantrwj
    Why .... what's rude + judgemental about testing freeloaders or politicians ..... 'er wait a sec, freeloaders + politicians is repetitive, isn't it.

    Is there a problem with the guy writing the Law that forces an employee to Drug Test being subjected to his own Law ? ...... or the ' Trickle--Down ' guy having to take the same test that the guy took to provide that freeride for him ?
  • ««Ginge... intoler... 2012/04/27 13:55:40
    ««Gingey, the Master Debater of Þ|-|Дэ†»»
    +1
    What are you even saying?
  • intoler... ««Ginge... 2012/04/27 14:03:23
    intolerantrwj
    ..... a Politician writes a Law that forces you to pee ..... does he have to pee ? ? ?

    The guy getting the money that I pee'd for should also have to pee.
  • ««Ginge... intoler... 2012/04/27 14:07:28 (edited)
    ««Gingey, the Master Debater of Þ|-|Дэ†»»
    +1
    No, I said that if welfare recipients have to take a drug test, then so should politicians.
  • intoler... ««Ginge... 2012/04/27 14:34:19
    intolerantrwj
    +1
    ..... I'm ' All In ' on that thought.
  • Boris Badinov 2012/04/23 23:54:01
    Boris Badinov
    +4
    I agree with lonewolf. It's just a part of getting a job.
  • lonewolf Boris B... 2012/04/24 01:34:46
    lonewolf
    +2
    thanks
  • Met Boris B... 2012/04/24 11:16:24
    Met
    +3
    So i guess the bigger question is, what is it about smoking a joint that disqualifies you from holding a job?
  • Boris B... Met 2012/04/24 12:11:11
    Boris Badinov
    +2
    The employers wishes.
  • Met Boris B... 2012/04/24 15:24:54 (edited)
    Met
    +2
    And what right does the employer have to dictate what is and what is not acceptable practices in your down time?

    if i smoke a joint today, i'll fail every drug test i take for at least the next week. despite not actually ever being under the influence at work, or having my performance suffer, i'll still lose my job.

    If that was how Alcohol was looked at, there would be congressional hearings and supreme court rulings. But because it's mostly minorities and young people who smoke pot, it's an acceptable intrusion.

    It's also a gateway to Big Business controlling your life. How much longer till your toilette reports back to your Insurance company what's in your urine every morning, jacking up your rates for every cocktail you consume? (a concept already proposed, with existing technology)

    Then if that seemingly business smart ground is given, what's to stop your employers from getting a subpoena for your urine records?

    And how is that any different from them putting cameras in your house to make sure you live your life exactly how they see fit?

    What about that doesn't attack your personal pursuit of happiness?
    The battle cry of oppression is always the same "if you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about".

    Maybe i like to be wrong from time to time without hurting anyone, or having everyone up in my business.
  • dennis 2012/04/23 23:53:53
    dennis
    +5
    Why should I pay for their drugs
  • Fef dennis 2012/04/23 23:55:29
    Fef
    +5
    because the flea-infested OWS can't pay for their own drugs.
    occupy marijuana goldman sachs
  • Met Fef 2012/04/24 00:07:11
    Met
    +2
    you keep choosing the wrong side in the war on personal liberty, you may not like the outcome.

    It's easy to over generalize and demonize those who appear funny to you. But when they have a legitimate point that the majority of Americans identify with, it also makes you look foolish to oppose them. I agree that OWS was mishandled from the beginnings. Anarchy is never the answer, and 9 out of 10 demographics agree hand signals are gay. (the 10th demographic are actually the gays)

    how ever, if you don't see a problem with how corporate america is more and more being treated like special class citizens, while the population is more and more just a renewable resource for them, you're blind. If you do see it, and you're on the side of the corporate agenda, you're the enemy.
  • lonewolf 2012/04/23 23:48:27
    lonewolf
    +14
    yes they should. people have to be drug tested to get a job and some have random drug test to keep a job. i know some people need welfare and i have no problem with that. but you have those that are just to damn lazy to work and that's the problem.
  • CTF lonewolf 2012/04/23 23:56:38
    CTF
    +2
    Actually, people don't "have to" get drug tests.... Companies that drug test, do so at their choice.
  • lonewolf CTF 2012/04/23 23:58:09
    lonewolf
    +4
    not true. my company does and if you refuse its the same as tested postive
  • CTF lonewolf 2012/04/24 00:10:12
    CTF
    +2
    You're missing the point, that's a company policy, not a law.... Companies (with few, industry specific profession exceptions) are not bound by law to subject employees to drug tests. Look, my company requires me to randomly submit to them too. But, they do so by their choice. And since there are companies who choose not to drug test their employees, any one of us could make the choice to work there instead. You & I subject ourselves to drug testing because we choose to work for a company that institutes this policy, not because we're being forced to as an only means to a paycheck.
  • marcuss... CTF 2012/04/24 00:33:46
    marcuss....PHART
    Its the insurance companies that are requiring the testing for certain policies that a company can purchase. Tough to get a bond these days without the employees being tested.
  • CTF marcuss... 2012/04/24 15:31:29
    CTF
    To a degree, yes, that's true. However, that doesn't apply to 100% of the cases. Many times, companies get a much more favorable rate when employees are tested, but it's not always mandatory. In any case, though, you're describing the policies of insurance companies. And whether it's their policy, or the employer's policy..... The fact remains that this is not law for either to "require" employees to be drug tested.
  • lonewolf CTF 2012/04/24 01:32:24
    lonewolf
    +2
    not really. i understand what is being said and yes i have to abide by it if i want to work there. but you know as well as i do the welfare system is abused by many. i have to be tested i'm a driver and hold many differnt things.
  • CTF lonewolf 2012/04/24 15:42:46
    CTF
    +1
    Look, I don't argue that some do abuse the welfare system, but I'd be willing to bet (I don't have specific stats, so don't bother to ask, this is merely an opinion) that most of those who abuse it, are not doing so for drug related issues. Even still, drug tests are not free, and for the relatively small number of recipients that may take them, we're throwing money down the drain with needless testing of those who don't take them.

    You, as a driver, have to be tested because you have an occupation that deals directly with public safety. I don't know what you drive, but, truckers- for example- have drug tests & physicals every 6 months to 2 years (depending on the health of the driver) that are USDOT regulated. And while most companies they work for issue their own drug tests on top of that, they actually don't have to.
  • lonewolf CTF 2012/04/24 23:06:32
    lonewolf
    +1
    never said all for drug realted issues there are are those that just keep popping out kids because it gives them more money
  • CTF lonewolf 2012/04/24 23:40:42
    CTF
    +1
    True.... So then, doesn't that tell you that maybe there should be some other strings attatched for getting a welfare check instead of wasting over $100/pop on drug screening?
  • lonewolf CTF 2012/04/25 08:52:16
    lonewolf
    +1
    sure. but i'm still for testing i can understand what your saying and yes the system needs to fixed.
  • **Bessie** lonewolf 2012/04/26 17:40:53
  • lonewolf **Bessie** 2012/04/26 23:05:37
    lonewolf
    +1
    thanks my friend.
  • sherie lonewolf 2012/04/24 00:19:45
    sherie
    +4
    Absolutely right. You have the right to refuse but that leads to a presumption of guilt. I recently reentered the work force after 34 years and encountered a drug test for the first time. I was given a 24 hr widow in which to complete the test or i would no longer be considered for emplyment. I guess the drugs they are looking for last in thr system longer than that.
  • lonewolf sherie 2012/04/24 01:33:34
    lonewolf
    +2
    yes it does.
  • CTF sherie 2012/04/24 16:02:41
    CTF
    The problem is, you're confusing the requirement of a private company to a private citizen, with a legal requirement. Yes, many companies do require employee drug testing, (especially pre-employment drug screens) but they do so at their own decision. There is no law that states that they have to. There are plenty of other options out there for those who want to work for companies who don't test.
  • lonewolf CTF 2012/04/26 23:09:14
    lonewolf
    +1
    true i guess it comes down to do you want to work or not. if you do then take the test. with the way the economy is employers can be choosey. on who they hire with so many out of work
  • CTF lonewolf 2012/04/26 23:37:27
    CTF
    +1
    I don't disagree with you on that..... Personally, I have NO problem with employers choosing to drug test their employees, be it pre-employment, after an accident/injury, or even randomly. Nor do I have ANY sympathy for those who choose not to keep themselves clean in order to get a better job. I certainly wouldn't hire anyone who tests positive.

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